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Nate Robinson is still learning, but Tom Thibodeau likes what he sees

Tyler Zeller Taj Gibson

Tyler Zeller, Taj Gibson

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Updated: January 7, 2013 1:31PM



CLEVELAND — No one said life with Nate Robinson coming off the bench to run the point would be smooth, especially considering he’s a shoot-first, ask-questions-later guard.

Robinson is maturing, but there are still some speed bumps in the process. Regardless, coach Tom Thibodeau likes what he sees.

“He’s different,’’ Thibodeau said of Robinson when asked to compare him now to when he coached him in Boston in 2009. “He’s got more experience. And he wasn’t playing this type of role in Boston. I think he’s still growing. He’s had some really good games for us, some games that are sort of in the middle, but I want him to be consistent, and I want him to concentrate on his improvement and running our team well.’’

Robinson said he likes the challenge put before him.

“Coach challenges me every night to go out and try to put guys in position where they can be successful to help the team, and I take the challenge in doing that,’’ Robinson said.

Upon further review

Thibodeau pulled no punches after the loss Tuesday night to Indiana, specifically his feelings about a no-call on Luol Deng that could’ve resulted in the game-tying layup with five seconds left. Deng was hit in the air by Pacers center Roy Hibbert, going down in a heap with no whistle. Thibodeau called it a “train wreck’’ after the game.

On Wednesday, Thibodeau was asked if the league office was contacted by the Bulls to at least take a look at the play. “I’m going to leave that alone,’’ he said.

Asked if he thought he might be fined by the league for his description, he said, “No. I didn’t think it was the officials. I mean it’s a tough play, it’s bang-bang. It could go either way, and it went against us.’’

Self-criticism

So why is Robinson critical of himself after games? “That just builds character for me,’’ he said. “I got to criticize myself before [the media] does it. It makes my job easier.’’



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